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Omani man becomes Thailand’s 2nd confirmed MERS case

24 January 2016 10:54



An Omani man has become the second confirmed case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in Thailand after arriving in the capital, Bangkok.

The 71-year-old man entered the city on Friday while he had a fever that could not be treated in his country, the Thai Health Ministry said in a Sunday statement.

He was quarantined at a hospital in Bangkok after testing “positive for the MERS virus,” the ministry said, adding, “He is tired but conscious.”

According to ministry’s statement, the Omani man’s children have also been quarantined while 252 people, who have been in contact with the patient, have also been identified, of whom 37 are considered to be at “high risk” of being infected with the virus, the ministry said.

The first case of MERS in Thailand, which receives millions of tourists every year, was another elderly Omani man who was hospitalized in June 2015. The 75-year-old Omani was discharged several weeks later after being treated.

Both cases contracted the deadly virus in Oman and were taken to Thailand for treatment as the Southeast Asian country is also a hub for medical tourism.

MERS was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012. The disease is part of the corona virus family, which includes the common cold and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that left hundreds of people dead when it emerged in Asia in 2003.

The deadly virus can cause such symptoms as fever, breathing problems, pneumonia and kidney failure.

Last year, an outbreak of MERS in South Korea took 36 lives and caused panic across Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

More than 1,600 confirmed MERS cases have been reported to the World Health Organization, including at least 586 related deaths since 2012.

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